Building A Greener Business - X-Forces Enterprise
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Building A Greener Business

Building A Greener Business
Building A Greener Business

The words 'climate change' and 'business' were not always comfortable bedfellows - for many, commerce was seen as one of the major obstacles to a sustainable future. However, things are changing, and for the better...

With COP26 in Glasgow still fresh in the mind, businesses of all sizes across the UK were asking themselves what they could do to cut emissions and become ‘greener’. In response, the Government introduced its UK Business Climate Hub , a free resource featuring a wide range of general and sector-specific strategies.

For SMEs, our partner organisation the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) launched a free guide entitled 'How to get started with sustainability' which helps small business owners and the self-employed to understand how they can play their part. Here, we share just some of FSB's suggested initiatives to help you start your journey to net zero. For the full picture, we heartily recommend you download the guide here.


Reducing your energy use is beneficial both financially and environmentally, allowing you to keep in line with energy legislation and face little risk of non-compliance. Sustainably generated electricity is much more beneficial for business use. Minimising electricity from high-carbon sources taking up a higher percentage of our national grid.

  • Switching to energy saving LED light bulbs within your business is a good first step in reducing energy consumption
  • Motion sensor lights are also beneficial in reducing consumption as these lights only switch on when triggered
  • Switch appliances off rather than leaving them on standby, as this can dramatically decrease your energy consumption


Tackling your water consumption is massively important. Reducing heavy consumption of a finite resource will also benefit you economically, as you will reduce your bills.

  • Replacing your taps with spray taps can reduce the volume of water coming out of the tap without diminishing pressure quality
  • Switching to duel-flush toilets can save thousands of litres of water a year and potentially save you money
  • Get your team on board with saving water through awareness training to educate them on everyday habits
  • If feasible, you could harvest rainwater

Less waste will mean a smaller carbon footprint, less requirement for landfill space and reduced impact on biodiversity loss. Addressing any waste problems allows you to comply with all the UK’s current regulations and prepares you for any changes to the regulations in the future.

To start the process of reducing your waste, you are advised to do a waste audit. A waste audit can be thought of as a ‘dumpster dive’. A waste audit involves separating your waste into different categories (e.g., cardboard, glass etc.) and weighing how much you produce over a given time, often a week. You can hire a professional to conduct a waste audit for you, or if you produce a small amount of waste, you can do one yourself. Once you have completed your waste audit you can then plan how to reduce your waste.

Going Digital

Annually, 12.5 million tonnes of paper are used in the UK, with roughly two thirds recycled. Within the UK, the average household is said to dispose of six trees’ worth of paper per year. Making the switch to digital records and processes can help reduce the amount of paper your business uses. Moving your business processes to computer-based systems will reduce the need to keep physical paper records and will improve day-to-day operations.

  • Streamline your bookkeeping processes with HMRC approved accountancy software to digitise your invoices, expenses and more
  • Sign paperwork digitally with apps
  • Use online tools to transfer large files at the click of a button
  • Use e-tickets for events instead of printed tickets

Don’t forget that if you go digital with your company’s documentation, take precautions to ensure that your digital ecosystem is secure to avoid cyber-attacks.

Cutting Vehicle Use

By changing your habits, road traffic and vehicle usage can be reduced on both an individual and business level. Cars and vans are important for business operations, and essential at times. However, avoiding unnecessary trips, shopping locally, and grouping deliveries together are all beneficial.

What are the alternatives to repeated vehicle use?

  1. Walking is the cheapest option and promotes a healthy lifestyle
  2. Cycling and electric bikes could make your journey to work easier as journey times are increasingly reliable, whilst also being good for your health
  3. Public transport is a very common alternative that is readily available and convenient
  4. Whilst carpooling still involves vehicles on the road, it reduces the amount of cars on the road if you wish to share a journey with colleagues. Travel costs are reduced, congestion is lessened, and public transport issues can be avoided

If you consider the distance travelled, miles per gallon, fuel price and how many passengers are in the car, you can calculate how much the journey cost per person in the vehicle. In doing so, you save money and reduce the number of cars on the road which is better for the environment.

We at X-Forces Enterprise are committed to playing our part and have designed a brand new workshop entitled Business Leadership in a Climate Change Environment, a subject with implications for every small business in the UK.

Small Business Leadership in a Climate Change Environment

Join the Workshop, free of charge, today!

The words ‘climate change’ and ‘business’ were not always comfortable bedfellows – for many, commerce was seen as one of the major obstacles to a sustainable future. However, things are changing, and for the better…

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